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I will consider some of the differences between epistemic reasons and reasons for action, and use these differences to illuminate a major division between types of normative reasons, which I will call ‘adaptive’ and ‘practical’ reasons. A few clarifications of some aspects of the concept of epistemic reasons will lead to a distinction between standard and non-standard reasons (section 1). Some differences between epistemic and practical reasons will be described and explained in section 2, paving the way to generalising the contrast and explaining the difference between adaptive and practical reasons (section 3). sections 4 and 5 further explain and defend the views of the preceding sections. My ultimate goal is an explanation of normativity. But the present essay does more to explain a difficulty such an explanation faces than to resolve it.


Jurisprudence | Law | Law and Philosophy | Philosophy


This material has been published in "Reasons for Action", edited by David Sobel and Steven Wall. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.